Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon.Simon Lalong, on Wednesday in Jos met with leaders of Berom and Fulani ethnic groups with a view to finding lasting solution to their lingering crises.
The Governor told the community leaders that the meeting was aimed at giving the leaders the opportunity to openly express themselves and suggest ways to stop attacks and reprisals, particularly in Barkin-Ladi and Riyom LGAs, which are most affected by the crises.
He disclosed that he earlier met with the Beroms and Fulani herdsmen at separate occasions where they expressed their feelings and grievances, which have been noted by him.
The governor noted that the essence of governance was peace, hence the reason for the series of meetings his administration had held with various stakeholders within the last two months since he assumed office.
Laong said: “ I decided to bring them together to talk and chart a common front.
“Initially, we met with security chiefs, shortly after; we met with the Fulanis, where they thoroughly expressed themselves. After that, we met Berom leaders.
“The summary of all the meetings is that everybody is tired of crises and we all want peace. Today is an opportunity for all of us to find lasting peace in Plateau.’’
A Berom leader, Mr Pam Gyang, said that the meeting afforded his people the opportunity to meet their long cherished desire to peacefully co-exist as their ancestors did.
He lamented that Berom and Fulanis used to coexist peacefully, speak the same language, and even intermarry, but this no longer existed among them in the recent past.
“With frank talks, the people will now be free to go to their farms and those rearing cattle will also graze them peacefully,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Idris Gidado of Gashish District, a Fulani leader, thanked the governor for the meeting and expressed optimism that the Beroms and Fulanis would henceforth peacefully co-exist, noting that it was the first time that state government would bring parties together to deliberate with understanding and maturity.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Nasiru Oki, said the meeting was very fruitful and disclosed that a committee had already been set up to look into key issues deliberated upon by the parties with a view to ending the crises.